Algorithmic art

Algorithmic art , also known as art algorithm , is art, mostly visual art , of which the design is generated by an algorithm . Algorithmic artists are sometimes called algorists .


Further information: Mathematics and art

Algorithmic art, also known as computer-generated art , is a subset of generative art (generated by an autonomous system) and is related to systems art (influenced by systems theory). Fractal art is an example of algorithmic art. [2]

For an image of reasonable size, Even The Simplest algorithms require too much calculation for manual execution to be practical, and They Are Executed THUS we Either a single computer or cluster of computers we have. The final output is typically displayed on a computer monitor , printed with a raster -type printer, or drawn using a plotter . Variability can be introduced by using pseudo-random numbers. There is no consensus as to whether the product of an existing algorithm (or on any other than pseudo-random numbers) can still be considered computer-generated art, as opposed to computer-assisted art. [2]


Roman Verostko Argues That Islamic geometric patterns are constructed using algorithms, as are Italian Renaissance paintings qui make use of technical mathematical , In Particular linear perspective and proportion. [3]

Some of the earliest known examples of computer-generated algorithmic art were created by Georg Nees , Frieder Nake , Michael A. Noll , Manfred Mohr, and Vera Molnár in the early 1960s. These artworks were executed by a plotter controlled by a computer , and were therefore computer-generated art but not digital art . The act of creation lay in writing the program , which specified the sequence of actions performed by the plotter . Sonia Landy Sheridan Established Generating Systems as a Program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicagoin 1970 in response to social change brought about by the computer-robot communications revolution. [4] Her early work with copy and telematic art focused on the differences between the human hand and the algorithm. [5]

Aside from The Ongoing work of Roman Verostko and his fellow algorithmic art, the next Known examples are fractal artwork created in the mid to late 1980s. These are important here because they use a different means of execution. The algorithmic art was “drawn” by a plotter , fractal art simply creates an image in computer memory ; it is therefore digital art . The native form of a fractal artwork is an image stored on a computer -this is also true of almost all equation art and of most recent algorithmic art in general. However, in a strict sense “fractal art” is not considered algorithmic art, because the algorithm is not devised by the artist. [2]

The role of the algorithm

Letter Field by Judson Rosebush, 1978. Calcomp plottercomputer output with liquid inks on rag paper, 15.25 x 21 inches. This version was created using an earlier version of Digital Effects ‘ Vision software, in APL and Fortran on an IBM 370/158. A database of the Souvenir do; random number generation, a statistical basis to determine letter size, color, and position; and has hidden line algorithm combines to Produce this scan line raster image , output to a plotter.

From a point of view, for a work of art to be considered algorithmic art, its creation must include a process based on an algorithm devised by the artist. Here, an algorithm is simply a detailed recipe for the design and possible execution of an artwork, which may include computer code , functions , expressions , or other input which will ultimately determine the art form. [3] This input can be mathematical , computational , or generative in nature. Inasmuch as algorithms tend to be deterministic, meaning that their repeated execution would always result in the production of identical artworks, some external factor is usually introduced. This paper is a part of a document that can be used in the context of an algorithm. By this definition, fractals made by a fractal program are not art, as humans are not involved. However, defined differently, algorithmic art can be seen to include fractal art, as well as other variables such as those using genetic algorithms . The artist Kerry Mitchell stated in his 1999 Fractal Art Manifesto : [6] [2][7]

Fractal Art is not..Computer (ized) Art, in the sense that the computer does all the work. The work is executed on a computer, but only at the direction of the artist. Turn a computer on and leave it alone for an hour. When you come back, no art will have been generated. [6]


“Algorist” is a term used for digital artists who create algorithmic art. [3]

Algorists formally began writing and establishing their identity as artists following a panel titled “Art and Algorithms” at SIGGRAPH in 1995. The co-founders were Roman Verostko and Jean-Pierre Hébert . Hébert is credited with coining the term and its definition, which is in the form of his own algorithm: [3]

if (creation && object of art && algorithm && one's own algorithm) 
 include * an algorist *
 elseif (! creation ||! object of art ||! algorithm ||! one's own algorithm) 
 exclude * not an algorist *

Types of algorithmic visual art

Cellular automata can be used to generate an array of patterns of randomness, or to modify images as often as possible. [8]

Fractal art consists of a variety of fractals with coloring. [9] Especially in the western world, it is not drawn or painted by hand. It is usually created with the assistance of fractal-generating software , iterating through three phases: setting parameters of appropriate fractal software; executing the possibly lengthy calculation; and evaluating the product. In some cases, other graphics programs are used. This is called post-processing. Non-fractal imagery may also be integrated into the artwork. [10]

Genetic or evolutionary art makes use of genetic algorithms to develop images iteratively, selecting at each “generation” according to a rule defined by the artist. [11] [12]

See also

  • Cellular automata
  • Deep Dream
  • demoscene
  • Display hack
  • Low-complexity art
  • Infinite compositions of analytic functions
  • Remko Scha , a pioneer on algorithmic art


  1. Jump up^ Hvidtfeldt Christensen, Mikael. “” . Retrieved 2 October2015 .
  2. ^ Jump up to:d “Approximating Reality with Interactive Algorithmic Art” . University of California Santa Barbara. June 7, 2001 . Retrieved 25 December 2015 .
  3. ^ Jump up to:e Verostko, Roman (1999) [1994]. “Algorithmic Art” .
  4. Jump up^ Sonia Landy Sheridan, “Generative Systems versus Copy Art: A Clarification of Terms and Ideas”, in: Leonardo , Vol. 16, No. 2 (Spring, 1983), pp. 103-108. doi:10.2307 / 1574794
  5. Jump up^ Flanagan, Mary. “An Appreciation on the Impact of the Work of Sonia Landy Sheridan.” The Art of Sonia Landy Sheridan. Hanover, NH:Hood Museum of Art, 2009, pp. 37-42.
  6. ^ Jump up to:b Mitchell, Kerry (24 July 2009). Selected Works . pp. 7-8. ISBN  978-0-557-08398-5 . This artist is notable for his place in the Fractal Art movement, as is his opinion and manifesto.
  7. Jump up^ Mitchell, Kerry (1999). “The Fractal Art Manifesto” . . Retrieved 27 December 2015 .
  8. Jump up^ Hoke, Brian P. (August 21, 1996). “Cellular Automata and Art” . Dartmouth College . Retrieved 24 December 2015 .
  9. Jump up^ Bovill, Carl (1996). Fractal geometry in architecture and design . Boston: Birkhauser. p. 153. ISBN  0-8176-3795-8 . Retrieved 28 October2011 .
  10. Jump up^ Conner, Elysia (25 February 2009). “Meet Reginald Atkins, mathematical artist” . . Retrieved 28 October 2011 .
  11. Jump up^ Eberle, Robert. “Evolutionary Art – Genetic Algorithm” . Saatchi Art . Retrieved 25 December 2015 .
  12. Jump up^ Reynolds, Craig (27 June 2002). “Evolutionary Computation and its application to art and design” . Reynolds Engineering & Design . Retrieved 25 December 2015 .